“When I looked in the mirror, I just saw disgusting fat.”
Those words, spoken by a dangerously skinny teenager named Emma Stewart, are typical of girls suffering from anorexia nervosa.
“I was convinced I needed to be skinny to look good in a bikini,” Emma told the U.K.’s Daily Mirror newspaper. “I started obsessing about my weight and what I’d look like sunbathing. I was convinced I was too heavy, so I started skipping meals and making myself sick …”
Though Emma almost resembled an emaciated concentration-camp survivor, the effect her anorexia had on her mind and emotions was to make her see herself as disgustingly fat.
Now let’s look into the mirror of people suffering from another condition, one increasingly featured in the news and entertainment media, and for which special laws are now being passed all over the country – namely, gender dysphoria. That’s the new name for what used to be called gender identity disorder, referring to the plight of transgender (or transsexual) people who so strongly identify with the opposite sex that they often undergo major surgery in an attempt to change genders.
“When I look in the mirror in the morning, before having shaved, it’s certainly a painful experience. … The immediate reaction I get from my reflection is a feeling of very strong disassociation, accompanied by a kind of shock, confusion, or mental jarring. I have the strong, gut-level sensation that whoever is behind the mirror is not me,” says one “trans” individual.
“Whenever I look in the mirror it’s like I’m looking at a stranger or something,” says another.
“Transsexuals,” explains one commentator, “report feeling out of place, feeling awkward, and to get others to understand their inner struggle, transsexuals will ask typical people”:
If you’re a woman, imagine that every morning when you awaken and look in the mirror, you see a man. And if you’re a man, imagine that when you awaken, you see a woman in the mirror. That’s how a transsexual feels.
The human mind is an amazing thing. Just like computers, they’re awesome when they work properly, but supremely vexing when they don’t.
Yet there it is: Whether it’s the anorexic or transgender individual staring intently into the mirror and seeing the exact opposite of reality, or countless other people in similar straits tormented from within, our minds are – to put it inelegantly – capable of lying to us.
Indeed, tens of millions of Americans, and more every year, are finding themselves in a place where, whether they realize it or not, their own minds deceive them to the point of seriously disrupting their lives.
Take OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, which currently afflicts one in 100 American adults (between 2 and 3 million), plus one in 200 children and teens (that’s another 500,000), according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Here, from the International OCD Foundation, is a vivid description of what OCD feels like from the inside:
Imagine that your mind got stuck on a certain thought or image …
Then this thought or image got replayed in your mind, over and over again, no matter what you did …
You don’t want these thoughts – it feels like an avalanche …
Along with the thoughts come intense feelings of anxiety …
Anxiety is your brain’s warning system. When you feel anxious, it feels like you are in danger. Anxiety is an emotion that tells you to respond, react, protect yourself, DO SOMETHING!
On the one hand, you might recognize that the fear doesn’t make sense, doesn’t seem reasonable, yet it still feels very real, intense, and true …
Why would your brain lie?
Why would you have these feelings if they weren’t true? Feelings don’t lie … Do they?
Unfortunately, if you have OCD, they do lie. …
How many Americans have problems like these, where their thinking and feeling (or whatever lurks behind their thinking and feeling) profoundly deceives them? Fasten your seat belt, because in addition to the 2-3 million with OCD, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that almost 21 million American adults have a mood disorder, 14.8 million adults have a major depressive disorder, 5.7 million suffer from bipolar disorder, 2.4 million have schizophrenia, 40 million have an anxiety disorder, 6 million have a panic disorder, 7.7 million are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, 6.8 million have generalized anxiety disorder, 15 million have a social phobia (fear of any situation where escape may be difficult, like traveling in a car, bus or airplane) and another 19 million have some type of specific phobia (marked, persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation).
There are scores of different phobias, from ablutophobia (fear of washing or bathing), to acarophobia (fear of itching or of the insects that cause itching), achluophobia (fear of darkness), acrophobia (fear of heights), aerophobia (fear of flying), aeronausiphobia (fear of vomiting secondary to airsickness), agateophobia (fear of insanity), agraphobia (fear of sexual abuse), agrizoophobia (fear of wild animals), algophobia (fear of pain), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or crowds), agyrophobia (fear of streets or crossing the street), aichmophobia (fear of needles or pointed objects), amathophobia (fear of dust), amaxophobia (fear of riding in a car), androphobia (fear of men), anginophobia (fear of angina or choking), anthrophobia (fear of flowers), anthropophobia (fear of people or society), aphenphosmphobia (fear of being touched), apiphobia (fear of bees), apotemnophobia (fear of persons with amputations), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), arithmophobia (fear of numbers), arsonphobia (fear of fire), asthenophobia (fear of fainting or weakness), astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning), ataxophobia (fear of disorder or untidiness), atelophobia (fear of imperfection), atychiphobia (fear of failure), automysophobia (fear of being dirty) and autophobia (fear of being alone or of oneself).
And those are just the As! B through Z spell out hundreds more. But what all phobias have in common is a root in some early traumatic experience that has generated a syndrome of unwanted, irrationally fearful thoughts and feelings.
By the way, the mental health statistics cited above, which appear to account for around half of Americans, don’t even include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, one of the most common diagnoses in children and adolescents, or autism spectrum disorder, which now afflicts an astonishing one in 50 American kids, according to the most recent reporting from the CDC.
Makes you wonder: Is there anybody left who is not afflicted?
Amputation of healthy organs ‘the new normal’
Having made this quick survey, something very strange now comes into focus.
All of these conditions, whatever their symptoms or level of severity, are named and described in the psychiatrists’ bible – the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” the most recent being the fifth edition (so-called “DSM-V”) – and all are considered “pathological” (that is, “relating to, or caused by, disease”) and classified as “disorders.”
Well, all except one.
Ironically, one the most extreme of all of these conditions – at least in terms of its preferred treatment, which often involves the amputation of healthy body parts and whose sufferers attempt suicide at an alarming rate – is for some reason in the process of being de-pathologized, that is, reclassified as normal.
Indeed, the recent renaming of gender identity disorder as gender dysphoria, thanks to pressure from the powerful LGBT lobby, means the condition itself is no longer considered abnormal or “disordered,” but only the anxiety one may feel over it.
This is a halfway measure; the unabashed, publicly stated goal of the LGBT world is to get gender identity disorder completely de-pathologized so it is officially and legally declared to be an absolutely normal variant of human sexuality. It is, after all, the “T” in the LGBT coalition.
Ironically, there is some criticism toward the latest edition of the DSM among mental health professionals, who claim the manual makes it easier than ever – maybe too easy, they say – to diagnose people as “disordered.” For example, as one clinical psychologist wrote in Slate:
DSM-5 will change … the criteria for “generalized anxiety disorder,” a disorder that involves excessive and persistent worrying. Whereas the criteria in DSM-4 required three out of six symptoms of worrying, only one symptom is needed in DSM-5.
How, then, when today’s mental-health trend is to categorize more and more problematic human behaviors as “disorders,” does the mental state that craves having healthy body parts amputated in a pathetic and ultimately impossible quest to change genders become magically transformed into something “normal”?
“Being transgender no longer a ‘mental disorder’: APA,” announced NBC News last December, along with other major news outlets:
The American Psychiatric Association has revised its “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” and it no longer lists being transgender as a mental disorder, among other changes announced this past weekend.
Transgender people will now be diagnosed with “gender dysphoria,” which means emotional stress related to gender identity. “Gender identity disorder” had been listed as a mental disorder since the third edition of the DSM more than 20 years ago.
In an interview with The Advocate, APA member Jack Drescher explained the new revision, saying, “All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context. We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories. We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”
Drescher’s comment that “all psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context” is just code, of course, for admitting that the American Psychiatric Association cravenly caved in to intimidation from the LGBT lobby in removing the “disorder” label.
One organization that successfully lobbied for the change, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, reports that it …
conducted a consensus process in order to make recommendations for revision of the DSM diagnoses of Gender Identity Disorders. … The [work group] recommended changing the diagnosis to one based on distress rather than on identity, on which the current diagnosis is based. Hence, they proposed changing the name of the diagnosis from Gender Identity Disorder to the more accurate and less pathologizing Gender Dysphoria …
“There was consensus,” the group reported, “that a transgender identity is not pathology. Gender variant individuals are not inherently disordered; rather, the distress of gender dysphoria is the psychological problem.”
If that sounds confusing, it gets worse: A report in the peer-reviewed journal “Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry” uses academic lingo and tortured multicultural logic to rationalize why there’s nothing at all wrong with people who want to cut off healthy breasts and genitalia in pursuit of “gender transition”:
As a diagnostic category, gender identity disorder remains problematic with ongoing debates concerning etiology, definition and ethics of treatment. Inherent in the current DSM definition is a Western model of the relationship between sex and gender which epitomizes the tension existing between essentialist and constructivist accounts of gender development. This model determines that gender-aberrant behavior and gender variation are, by definition, pathological, and reinforces a binary gender model. Studies of non-Western cultures reveal variations in models of gender and in the understanding of gender deviance. Cultures vary in their definition of gender roles and show varying degrees of tolerance for atypical gender behaviors and gender change. An understanding of cultural context is important in the clinical assessment of atypical gender development and challenges current models of sex and gender.
Translation: If you think there’s something wrong with people who want to amputate parts of their body, you’re intolerant, biased in favor of Western culture and hung up on the outdated notion that there are just two genders. If you were more multiculturally enlightened, you would realize it is just your own prejudice and narrow frame of reference that is the real problem here.
Reality check: Transgenderism (or transsexualism) is not normal. In fact, it’s so abnormal and unnatural that a staggeringly tragic 41 percent of all transgender individuals living in the United States have attempted to commit suicide, according to a 2010 study.
Yet, while the psychiatric profession diagnoses millions of fidgety schoolboys with the “mental disorder” of ADHD (and then “treats” them with powerful and poorly understood drugs), it is simultaneously re-categorizing an undeniably extreme disorder as normal.
What would we think if the “anorexia rights lobby” (if such a thing existed) pushed relentlessly to de-pathologize anorexia, proclaiming it perfectly normal for some girls, though in danger of dying from starvation, to go on starving themselves so as to satisfy their inner feeling that they were fat?
The question, then, is why did the American Psychiatric Association give in to activist pressure?
For the same reason the same organization, under activist pressure, declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. After all, men wanting to have sex with men, and women with women, is also profoundly disordered behavior – a dysfunction often rooted in early flawed family relationships, early molestation and/or other trauma. That’s not my opinion; the psychiatric and psychological professions used to know this – and knew it well. That is, before it became controversial, politically incorrect, career-ruining and – increasingly – illegal to speak the truth that homosexual attractions are evidence of a significant developmental problem, not an inborn identity.
Reclaiming reality and sanity
In considering the etiology (cause) of most “mental disorders,” today’s mental health establishment tends increasingly to focus on factors like genetics, prenatal environmental exposures, organic brain disease, biochemical imbalances, infections, brain injury, poor nutrition and so on.
But what about stress? What about unhealthy family relationships? What about early emotional and/or physical trauma? What about having been raised in an angry and abusive home – or, a spoiling and smothering home? What about the reality that little children are so impressionable that they absolutely will be shaped by the emotional environment in which they live?
Such “psychological factors,” while generally mentioned briefly as possible contributing factors, no longer seem to count that much anymore. More to the point, even if such genuine causative factors are acknowledged by the therapist, the therapy is almost always the same – drugs.
Stop and think about this: People seek out help from therapists because of troubling mental and emotional issues, compulsions and addictions, powerful negative feelings and inner voices, paranoia, depression, rage, wild mood swings, confusion and similar symptoms. Other than the few with actual organic brain disease, these people need self-understanding; they need help spotlighting the real causes of their troubles; they need to become disentangled from and objective to their troublesome inner world; they need to repent of their hates, and to forgive those who have hurt them. They need genuine healing. Instead, they get drugs – drugs that, at best, only mask symptoms, and come with fearsome side effects.
Consider for a moment how children in the Arab-Muslim Middle East develop the “mental illness” of wannabe jihad martyrdom. How exactly do innocent little kids come to be possessed by such overwhelmingly powerful emotions and beliefs that they’re willing to blow themselves up while murdering innocent strangers – and thinking such a despicable crime is the will of God?
If I suggested genetics or biochemical imbalances were responsible, you would laugh. Little jihadists are created when, from an early age, they are continually indoctrinated, intimidated, degraded, rewarded, tempted, lied to, punished, threatened and praised (for reinforcement) – until their little developing minds and emotions are not their own anymore. They have a new implanted identity, very different from the one they were born with.
So, if the forces in one child’s home can transform him so totally that, when he looks in a mirror, he sees someone who feels like killing infidels and himself in a glorious “martyrdom operation,” couldn’t the forces in another child’s home (perhaps much more subtle, but nevertheless powerful) transform him or her into a person with feelings and attractions he likewise was not born with – including homosexual or transgender feelings? Many lesbians, as a matter of fact, confess they hated their cruel or abusive father and therefore couldn’t bond to a man later in life. Why is this so hard to understand?
Or consider the incredibly sad story, reported last week in the London Telegraph, of “female-to-male” transsexual Nancy Verhelst of Belgium, who was legally euthanized by lethal injection after a botched sex-change operation. The back story? Her parents hated and rejected her because she was a girl and they wanted another boy. So this poor girl tried to become a boy, and when it didn’t work, she took her life.
And this type of unseen (from the outside) but devastating family dynamic doesn’t even take into account the issue of early sexual molestation. It’s a disgrace that this well-known entry point into homosexuality is all but ignored in our haste to glorify aberrant sexual practices, attribute them to genetics and thus equate them with skin color and other immutable characteristics.
Close to half of all homosexual men have been molested by an older man, according to the peer-reviewed “Archives of Sexual Behavior,” which reports, “46 percent of homosexual men and 22 percent of homosexual women reported having been molested by a person of the same gender.”
But no matter. Fewer and fewer people care any more about true causes and effects, about the real nature of things. Instead, we care about what we want to believe, what we want to be true, even if we are being lied to from both ends – from the outside by deceitful politicians, activists and “experts,” and from “the inside” by our own deluded minds (which became deluded because of traumatic or corrupting influences that got into us from the outside).
As always, however, there is a price to pay for not caring about reality.
Today, the “gay rights movement” has metastasized into a burgeoning form of totalitarianism. Legislation is sweeping the country, outlawing counseling help for minors who want to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions; decreeing (in California and elsewhere) that boys and young men must be allowed to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms if they identify with the opposite sex (and vice versa); mandating pro-homosexual indoctrination of 5-year-olds; requiring the integration of open homosexuals into the military; forcing same-sex marriage on the nation; criminalizing Christian businesspeople for simply opposing homosexuality on moral and religious grounds; and much more. It’s just beginning.
We need to understand something about this new sexual revolution: There is no end to it. Many thought it would end with same-sex marriage, seemingly the crowning achievement of the gay rights juggernaut. But suddenly, it seems, everything is now about “transgender rights.” There’s a new prime-time TV show coming that will portray a transgender teen as the most sensible member of his family. Vice President Joe Biden calls transgender discrimination “the civil rights issue of our time.”
There is no end to the madness, because madness has no end – it’s a black hole with no bottom.
Most ironic and unfortunate of all, this particular issue – this revolutionary sexual anarchy movement, which more than any other ideology, including Marxism, Islam or atheism, has the potential of permanently corrupting our nation’s core “operating system” called the family – is the one issue that almost everybody is afraid to confront.
Like Voldemort, the arch-villain so feared by everyone in the “Harry Potter” stories that they “dare not speak his name,” almost no one – not Democrats, not Republicans, not churches, not the media (including Fox News), not talk radio (unless explicitly Christian conservative), not even the big alternative news websites, with the exception of WND – dares speak of it.
But be warned, intimidation is the No. 1 tool of would-be tyrants. Not only can it make us shut up from fear, it can – without our realizing it – cause us to change our own beliefs and side with the adversary, and we will never know what hit us. Until it’s too late.
The preceding was excerpted from the October issue of Whistleblower, WND’s acclaimed monthly magazine edited by David Kupelian. Find out more about Whistleblower.